Research Article

Generating Solitons by Phase Engineering of a Bose-Einstein Condensate

Science  07 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5450, pp. 97-101
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5450.97

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Abstract

Quantum phase engineering is demonstrated with two techniques that allow the spatial phase distribution of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) to be written and read out. A quantum state was designed and produced by optically imprinting a phase pattern onto a BEC of sodium atoms, and matter-wave interferometry with spatially resolved imaging was used to analyze the resultant phase distribution. An appropriate phase imprint created solitons, the first experimental realization of this nonlinear phenomenon in a BEC. The subsequent evolution of these excitations was investigated both experimentally and theoretically.

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